Cold Temperatures Freeze Water Lines - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Cold Temperatures Freeze Water Lines

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) -- Long lasting, extreme cold temperatures freeze water lines throughout mid-Michigan.

Last week, the Lansing Board of Water and Light responded to a dozen calls a day. This week, they're down to half that, but colder temperatures could spike reports back up. 

"This hasn't been a typical winter," said Amy Akers, the social media specialist at the Lansing Board of Water and Light. "We've had a really long stretch of cold temperatures dating back to about late December and we haven't seen an increase in that warmth since that time."

Pipes sit four feet below the ground. Typically, that's below the frost line. This winter, temperatures haven't stayed above freezing for long and the frost line keeps falling.

"The BWL is responsible from the meters to the streets, unfortunately there isn't a way to control those freezing other than to have a warm spell," Akers said.

Throughout a typical winter, the BWL gets calls to fix 10 to 15 frozen water lines. This winter, they've had to thaw nearly 200 and a fix requires major work.

"Sometimes we can go out to a job and we can get it done in the first half hour. Some jobs, we have been out there and it has taken anywhere from 7 to 10 hours," said Alando Chappell, the BWL Water and Steam Distribution manager.

Crews must break up the ground and dig down to the water line.

"We'll hook our machines out and make an attempt to thaw the line so we can provide service back to the customer," Chappell said.

Thanks to the machines and the work required, the fix can make a mess. However, the BWL said once the weather warms up, crews will come back and clean it up at no charge.

The BWL asks customers to call (517) 702-6490 if they believe they have a frozen line. Crews will come to fix the pipe immediately.

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